Last updated on October 23, 2023 by James Reynolds , Reviewed by Trevor Blacksmith

What Is An Exacta Bet?

An exacta bet, sometimes referred to as a perfecta or an exactor, requires gamblers to predict which two horses will finish first and second in that order. It’s similar to a quinella bet but with one important difference: while both types of wagers require players to pick two winning horses, only an exacta pays out when those two horses cross the finish line in the correct order.

How To Place An Exacta Bet

Placing an exacta bet is easy – all you need to do is go up to the window at your local racetrack or online racebook and make your selection. You’ll need to specify which horses are finishing first and second, along with their respective numbers (if betting on a particular race) or names (if betting across multiple races). Once you’ve made your picks, simply pay the amount due and wait for the results!

Definition Of Exacta Betting

Exacta betting is a popular horse racing bet in which you must pick the first and second place finishers in the exact order. This type of wager requires more skill than other types of bets, as it involves predicting how two horses will finish in relation to each other. The payoff for an exacta bet can be quite large if you are able to accurately predict the outcome.

When you make an exacta bet, you must specify which horses you think will come in first and second. For example, if you choose Horse A to win and Horse B to place, then that’s your exacta ticket – Horse A over Horse B (or “A-B” for short). You’ll need to pay attention to both form guides and past performances when making your selections so that you can maximize your chances of success.

An exacta box allows punters to cover multiple combinations at once without having to specify which horse they think will take home top honors. With this option, any combination involving those two horses finishing 1-2 pays out on winning tickets regardless of the actual result. It’s important to note that boxes generally cost twice as much as straight wagers due to their increased odds of success.

How To Place An Exacta Bet

An exacta bet is a wager in which you’ll pick the first and second place finishers of a horse race in exactly that order. Placing an exacta bet can be quite lucrative, but it requires careful selection of horses for the best chance at success.

Selecting Horses

When selecting horses for your exacta bet, select two from different parts of the field if possible. For example, try choosing one horse from near the front and another further back as opposed to two up front or two trailing behind. This increases your chances of cashing in on winning combinations since more than just those up front have a shot at placing first or second. Additionally, look into each horse’s past performances and form when making selections.

Placing Your Wager

Once you’ve selected two horses for your exacta bet, head to the betting window and make sure to state clearly that you are placing an exacta ticket with [horse 1 name]/[horse 2 name]. You will then receive confirmation of this wager so double check everything before leaving the window! Pay attention to any changes in odds throughout the day too – they may affect how much you could win if either (or both) of your chosen horses come through!

After confirming all details of your wager at the betting window, it’s time to sit back and watch the race unfold. If both horses finish in first and second respectively according to your prediction, congratulations – you’re a winner!

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Exacta Wagering

Exacta wagering is a popular bet among horse racing fans and can be an exciting way to try and win big. But before placing your bets, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of exacta betting so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of wager is right for you.


  • Potential for Big Payouts: The potential for huge payouts when winning an exacta bet makes it one of the most attractive types of horse race bets. Since exactas require two horses to finish in first and second place respectively, you have the chance to double your money if both picks are correct.
  • Ease of Placing Bets: Placing an exacta bet is easy since all you need to do is pick which two horses will finish first and second – there’s no complex calculations involved as with other forms of horse race wagers.


  • Higher Risk than Other Wagers: Although exactas offer higher payouts than many other kinds of horse race bets, they also carry higher risk because predicting the top two finishers correctly takes some skill. This means that even experienced handicappers may struggle when trying to predict exactly what order horses will finish in.
  • Expensive: Since each exacta box costs twice as much as a straight win bet on any single horse (i.e., $4 instead of $2), it can end up being quite expensive if you’re making multiple wagers at once.

Having considered both the pros and cons, it’s clear that while exacta wagering has its rewards, it’s important to consider how much risk you’re willing to take before deciding on this kind of bet. With this knowledge in hand, punters can approach their next bets armed with a better understanding of exactly where their money could go. Now let’s look at strategies for successful exacta wagering.

Strategies For Successful Exacta Wagering

Strategies for Successful Exacta Wagering

Exacta wagering is a great way to win big payoffs on the races. To be successful, it’s important to have an understanding of horses and racing. Here are some strategies that can help you become a winning exacta bettor:

Know Your Horses

Do your research and get familiar with the horses running in each race. Watch past replays of their races and see how they respond to different conditions and track surfaces. Knowing which horse has proven itself over certain distances is important when making an accurate prediction about which one will finish first or second.

Research Jockeys & Trainers

Pay attention to the jockeys who ride these horses regularly as well as their trainers. Look for patterns regarding where they place in races, what kind of performance records they have at particular tracks, etc. This knowledge can give you an edge when choosing between two entrants in any given race.

Knowing all this information before placing a wager will increase your chances of success – so take the time to do your homework! You’ll also benefit from following expert handicappers’ picks and advice, but remember that ultimately it’s up to you to decide which combination of horses will bring home the winners circle trophy.
From here we move into looking at types of exacta bets available…

Types Of Exacta Bets

Exacta bets are one of the most popular forms of horse racing wager. There are several types of exacta bets you can make, depending on your preferences and budget. Here’s a breakdown of the different types:

1) Straight Exactas:

A straight exacta bet is when you select two horses to finish in first and second place respectively, in any order. For instance, if you pick Horse A for 1st place and Horse B for 2nd place; either Horse A coming ahead of Horse B or vice versa would be considered as winning the bet.

2) Boxed Exactas:

Boxed exactas allow you to cover more possibilities with just one wager. In this type of wager, both the horses selected by you could come in any order to win the bet – it need not necessarily be 1st-2nd or 2nd-1st order only. This will increase your chances of winning but also increases the cost per ticket due to higher number of combinations possible.

3) Reverse Exactas:

Reverse exactas are similar to boxed exacta bets except that here, instead of betting on two horses finishing first and second respectively, you’re betting on them placing last and second last respectively (in either order). These have lower costs than boxed exacta bets since there are fewer combinations involved.

With these three options available, you can easily choose which type suits your needs best while betting on an upcoming horse race! Moving onto payouts and odds associated with each option…

Payouts And Odds

Exacta horse racing bets offer a fun way to make money betting on horses. As with any type of bet, understanding the payouts and odds associated with exactas is essential for successful wagering. This section will explore the different types of payouts and what factors influence them.

When placing an exacta bet, you are essentially predicting which two horses will finish in first and second place respectively. The payout for this type of bet depends upon the odds assigned to each horse’s chances of winning as well as how much was wagered on that particular race. Payout tables provide information about expected returns from wagers placed at various tracks. Here’s an example:

Win AmountPlace AmountShow Amount
1st Horse$5$3$2
2nd Horse$4$2$1

In this table, if your 1st horse wins then you would receive $5; if it places then you get $3, and so on. Likewise, if your 2nd horse wins or places, you can see how much you’d be paid out accordingly. Additionally, when making such a bet, it is important to understand that there may be deductions taken from winnings depending on the track’s rules and regulations (e.g., taxes).

The size of the payout also depends on other factors like how many people have made exacta bets during a given race day or whether those bets were part of pool or pari-mutuel betting system rather than fixed odds betting system. Generally speaking however, higher payouts occur when less people have placed similar bets on the same outcome — meaning fewer competitors vying for the prize pot! With these details in mind let us now turn our attention towards analyzing the horses and race conditions for better prediction accuracy going forward.

Analyzing The Horses And Race Conditions

The next step in making an exacta horse racing bet is to analyze the horses and race conditions. An effective analysis of the field will help you determine which horses are likely to finish first and second in a given race. To make an accurate assessment, it is important to consider the following:

  1. Pedigree – A horse’s pedigree can provide important clues about its potential performance on the track. Look for horses with strong lineage from successful sires and dams that have run well at similar distances over comparable surfaces.
  2. Past Performances – Examining past performances will give you insight into how a horse has fared against certain competition or courses, as well as any changes in form since its last outing. It is also helpful to look for patterns such as winning streaks or races where a horse ran particularly fast times or passed multiple opponents late in the stretch.
  3. Rider/Trainer Experience – The combination of jockey and trainer can be key when selecting a winning exacta ticket. Having confidence in their abilities can give you peace of mind knowing they will do their best to get your selection across the wire first.

With all these factors taken into account, you should be able to pick out two contenders who could potentially lead your exacta bet to victory! Now let’s explore some of the best tracks for exacta betting so we can begin placing our wagers with confidence!

Best Tracks For Exacta Betting

Exacta bets are a popular and exciting way to wager on horse racing. To get the best out of your exacta bet, it pays to know which race tracks offer the best value. Here we take a look at some of the top tracks in the US that have proven to be great locations for placing exacta bets:

Del Mar Thoroughbred ClubSan Diego, CA
Santa Anita ParkArcadia, CA
Churchill DownsLouisville, KY
Gulfstream Park Racing & CasinoHallandale Beach, FL

These four racetracks all provide excellent conditions for making successful exacta bets. At Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in San Diego you’ll find an incredibly diverse field of horses competing in various events throughout the year. The track has been praised by professional handicappers as one of the most challenging yet rewarding courses in all of California. Santa Anita Park is located near Los Angeles and offers up numerous races with attractive purses. It’s also known for having relatively easy turns and straightaways that make it ideal for exactas. Churchill Downs is another well-known venue where betting on classic American thoroughbreds is guaranteed excitement. And finally, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino down in Florida provides a large selection of high stakes races every week along with plenty of other gambling activities if you’re looking for more than just horse racing action.

With these four prime locations offering up reliable options when it comes to exacta betting, any punter can easily identify potential winning opportunities without having to go too far from home or breaking their bankroll due to travel expenses. So no matter what type of exacta bettor you may be – beginner or experienced – there’s sure to be something here that will suit your needs perfectly! Now let’s turn our attention towards finding value in exacta bets so you can start maximizing your profits right away…

Finding Value In Exacta Bets

When it comes to finding value in exacta bets, there are a few different strategies. To maximize your chances of success and minimize losses, you need to understand the basics of betting on horse racing and have an understanding of the track conditions.

Research Track Conditions

Before placing a bet, research the track conditions for that day’s race. Things like previous performances from horses at that particular track, recent weather patterns and any other factors which could influence the outcome should be considered when selecting an exacta bet. It is important to consider each horse’s form before deciding if they will be likely contenders or not.

Analyze Race Results

Once you have researched the track conditions and decided upon an exacta wager, analyze past races with similar runners or jockeys as those running in this current event. This can help identify trends in performance which may give clues as to how well certain combinations might do against one another – thereby improving your chances of making a successful bet. Paying attention to recent results can also alert you to any changes made by trainers or owners which could lead to improved performance levels in upcoming events.

Keep Records & Review Performance

It is essential that records are kept of all placed bets so that future decisions can be based on data rather than guesswork. This allows punters to review their performance over time and identify where improvements can be made – such as changing up wagers more often or being more selective about who they back. Keeping detailed records helps ensure better overall betting outcomes over time and increases the likelihood of creating winning exotica ticket combinations consistently.

By researching track conditions, analyzing race results and keeping careful records of all placed bets, punters can improve their chances of finding value in exacta betting significantly. With practice and patience, anyone has the potential to become expertly adept at picking out winning combination tickets every time they place a wager! From here we’ll look into common mistakes in exacta betting- both novice players make them and experienced ones too-and what measures can be taken to avoid them altogether.

Common Mistakes In Exacta Betting

Making mistakes when betting exactas can be costly, so it’s important to know what pitfalls to avoid. Here are some of the most common mistakes that bettors make when wagering on exactas:

  1. Not using enough horses – One of the biggest blunders is not having enough horse combinations in your exacta bets. If you only use two horses, then you’re really limiting yourself and making it harder for a win. It’s best to include three or more horses if possible.
  2. Not checking final odds – Before placing an exacta bet, take the time to check out how much each horse has been paying throughout the race day. This will help ensure that you get the best value for your money and hopefully maximize your potential winnings from the bet.
  3. Forgetting about favorites – Favorites may have shorter odds than longshots but don’t discount them completely when considering which horses to pick for an exacta bet! A favorite could easily come away with a victory, especially depending on the track conditions and other factors at play during a race.
    Knowing these common mistakes can go a long way towards helping you make better decisions when betting on exactas. Don’t forget to carefully consider all your options before settling on any one particular combination; this will give you a better chance of coming away with a winning ticket!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Minimum Bet Required For An Exacta Bet?

Betting on horse racing can be a fun and exciting experience. One of the most popular bets among experienced bettors is the exacta bet, which requires you to pick two horses that will finish first and second in a particular race. But what is the minimum requirement for placing an exacta wager?

The minimum amount required to place an exacta bet depends on both the track where you are betting and your chosen bookmaker or racebook. Generally speaking, though, you’ll need to have at least $2 in order to make such a wager. It’s important to note that some tracks may require higher minimums, so it pays to do your research before making any bets.

Before placing an exacta wager, be sure that you understand how these bets work. You’ll need to select two horses – one that will finish first and another that will come in second – as well as decide how much money you want to risk. Knowing this information ahead of time can help ensure that you get the most out of every dollar spent on horse racing bets.

Is It Possible To Place An Exacta Bet Online?

Gone are the days when you had to physically be at a horse racing track to place your bets. Nowadays, online betting has become more and more popular, making it easier than ever to have a flutter on the horses. But what about exacta bets? Can they also be placed online? The answer is yes!

In fact, placing an exacta bet online can often be even quicker and easier than doing so in person. All you need to do is register with one of the many reputable horse race betting websites out there and select ‘exacta’ from the menu of available wagers. From there, you simply choose two horses that you think will finish first and second in the race – usually displayed as numbers next to their names – enter your stake amount and click submit. That’s all there is to it!

The great thing about placing exacta bets online is that you don’t have any time constraints or geographical restrictions – no matter where you are or what time of day it is, you can always place your bets quickly and securely via a trusted website or app. You’ll also receive instant confirmation once the bet has been accepted, allowing you to keep track of exactly how much money you’ve staked on each race without having worry about paperwork or manual calculations.

Whether you’re an experienced gambler looking for an extra thrill or just starting out in horse racing betting, online exactas offer a safe, convenient way to make sure your picks pay off. So why not give them a try today?

What Is The Difference Between An Exacta And A Quinella Bet?

Exacta and quinella bets are two of the most popular types of wagers in horse racing. But what’s the difference between them? To understand the distinction, it helps to look at each bet separately.

1) Exacta Bet: An exacta is a type of betting where you pick which horses will come first and second in a race. This can be done either by picking two horses individually or through an ‘exacta box’ method, where you choose up to four horses with any combination finishing 1-2, 2-1, or 1-2 respectively.

2) Quinella Bet: A quinella bet involves predicting which two horses will finish first and second – but they don’t have to be in order. That means if your chosen horses take the top two spots regardless of their position, you win! It’s also possible to ‘box’ this bet too so that three-four selections guarantee success regardless of order.

Both bets require some skill and knowledge when selecting your choices as although choosing one winner is hard enough, correctly forecasting both winning places requires even more precision. Making sure the odds offered reflect your chances accurately is essential for successful betting; however these markets can provide great value if researched carefully before making any decisions.

How Does The Track Take A Portion Of The Exacta Betting Pool?

Making a bet on horse racing can be an exciting way to add some extra fun and excitement to your day. An exacta bet is one of the most popular wagers you will come across in this sport, but how does the track take a portion of the betting pool? In this article, we’ll explore that question and more so you can maximize your chances at making profitable bets.

When it comes to exacta betting, there are two main ways that the track takes its cut. The first is through commissions, which are based on the amount wagered for each race as well as any bonuses offered by certain tracks. This commission typically ranges from about 5-20% depending on the size of the exacta pool. The second way is through parimutuel taxes, which apply to all bets placed in a given state or country regardless of size or type.

It’s important to understand these fees before placing your bet so that you have a better understanding of what kind of return you can expect from your wager. Additionally, many states require tracks to report their earnings from taxes collected on equine events and pay out winnings accordingly. Knowing this information ahead of time helps ensure that you’re getting paid out properly after winning an exacta bet!

Overall, understanding how exactly the track takes its share when it comes to exacta betting is key if you want to make sure that your investment pays off with maximum returns. Be sure to do your research and check up on fees charged and any potential tax implications before putting down money on any particular race – it could save you from costly mistakes down the line!

Is There A Limit To How Much Can Be Bet On An Exacta Bet?

When it comes to betting on horse racing, the exacta bet is one of the most popular wagers. The good news is that there’s no limit as to how much you can bet on an exacta. But that doesn’t mean you should go crazy and blow your bankroll! Here are some tips for making sure your bets stay within your budget:

  • Know Your Limits – Always know what you’re willing to lose before placing any bets.
  • Set A Budget – Set aside a certain amount for each day or week that you plan on betting.
  • Keep Track Of Your Bets – It’s important to keep track of all your wins and losses in order to make adjustments accordingly.
  • Play Responsibly – Don’t let yourself get too carried away with betting more than you can afford.

Being able to place unlimited bets when it comes to exactas is great, but it also means having control over how much money you spend. To do this, try setting up a daily or weekly budget and sticking to it. This way, you won’t be tempted into spending more than you have available. You’ll also want to pay attention to any changes in odds so that you don’t end up losing out because of bad timing or poor decisions. And if things start going wrong, take a break until you feel comfortable playing again.

Exacta betting offers plenty of possibilities for savvy gamblers looking for big returns—but only if you play responsibly. Knowing your limits and staying within them will ensure that your experience remains enjoyable no matter the outcome.


Exacta betting is a great way to add fun and excitement to your horse racing experience. With minimum bets as low as $1, it’s an affordable option for everyone. You can even place Exacta bets online if you don’t have access to the track. Although similar to Quinella bets in many ways, they differ slightly in payouts and how much of the pool goes back to the track. As with any bet, there are limits on how much you can wager so be sure to check those before placing your bet.

Overall, Exacta bets offer a great opportunity for both casual and experienced horse race fans alike. Whether you’re looking for a little extra excitement or trying to maximize your return on investment, this type of bet is definitely worth considering. So next time you head out to the races, make sure you give exactas a try!

Happy Betting! …and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Casino Review Writer at

James Reynolds Johnson is a seasoned expert in the world of online casinos. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, James has a wealth of knowledge about the latest casino games, trends, and technologies. He has worked with some of the top online casinos in the world, providing expert analysis and advice on everything from game selection to payment methods. James is passionate about helping players find the best online casinos that offer fair games, excellent customer support, and generous bonuses. When he's not writing or researching, James enjoys playing blackjack and poker.


Trevor Blacksmith, Chief Editor at, has dedicated over 15 years to the online casino industry, ensuring readers receive accurate and current information. Based in New York, Trevor's meticulous approach and extensive experience make him a trusted voice in the realm of digital gambling, upholding the highest standards of journalistic integrity.